I Dissent Also

I Dissent Also

The Supreme Court ruling that a Muslim man’s Imam could not be at his side at the time of death but a Christian Chaplain was offered as the only option is a great disservice to the rule of law in this country on so many levels.

This is what happens when a simple majority in the US Senate is all that is required to approve a Judge or a Supreme Court Justice.

Does the Muslim Hysteria that has swept this country extend to the Supreme Court?

We need to change the rules of the US Senate and bring back the 60 vote threshold. The US Constitution is very clear that very important decisions require more than just a simple majority to implement. Both the Democrats and Republicans bear equal responsibility in these rule changes.

Washington Examiner  Saturday, February 9, 2019: 

Quote [Justices Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, Samuel Alito, And Brett Kavanaugh Didn’t Even Sign Their Names To The Application Vacating The Stay Of Execution Entered By The 11th U.S. Circuit Court Of Appeals At Atlanta, Which Found That Denying Imam Yusef Maisonet Access To The Execution Chamber While Allowing The Same For A Christian Pastor Raised Legitimate Questions About Religious Discrimination.

Adding Insult To Injury, The Five Supreme Court Justices Who Failed To Advocate For Domineque Ray’s Reasonable Religious Accommodation Offered No Detailed Explanation For Their Decision.

For An Explanation Of The Supreme Court’s Decision This Week, We Have To Look To Justice Elena Kagan’s Dissenting Opinion, Where She Mentions That A Majority Of Her Colleagues Agreed That Ray Waited Too Long To Bring His Request Before The Alabama Department Of Corrections. Kagan Is Joined In Her Dissent By Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg And Sonia Sotomayor.] End Quote

WHAT A BUNCH OF GUTLESS WONDERS; THEY WOULDN’T EVEN SIGN THEIR NAMES. THEY MUST HAVE BEEN VERY PROUD OF THEIR DECISION!

I am glad we have a free press to shine the light on these kinds of actions; see the following:

The Washington Post:

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The Supreme Court ruled against a Muslim man who wanted his imam by his side when he was executed. (Jon Elswick/AP)

By Eugene Scott  February 8 at 4:08 PM

IN ALLOWING THE EXECUTION TO MOVE FORWARD, THE CONSERVATIVE MAJORITY SAID ONLY THAT RAY HAD WAITED TOO LONG TO SEEK RELIEF. THE LIBERALS WHO DISSENTED SAID ALABAMA’S POLICY SHOWED PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT TO CHRISTIAN INMATES OVER THOSE OF OTHER FAITHS. “THAT TREATMENT GOES AGAINST THE ESTABLISHMENT CLAUSE’S CORE PRINCIPLE OF DENOMINATIONAL NEUTRALITY,” JUSTICE ELENA KAGAN WROTE IN HER DISSENT.

Conservative columnist Bethany Mandel tweeted:  “The state should not play God. But if it does, it shouldn’t deny a (wo)man a way to atone to their God before doing so.”

Seth Mandel, executive editor of the Washington Examiner magazine, tweeted: “As a conservative who opposes both the death penalty and religious discrimination I find this story appalling.”

And Southern Baptist minister Alan Cross tweeted: “Every time we want the state to favor Christianity over other religions, the result is a loss of religious freedom for all.”

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Washington Examiner:

Saturday, February 9, 2019

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OPINION  The liberals on the Supreme Court are right, conservatives wrong on Muslim execution case

by Becket Adams

 February 08, 2019 02:49 PM

ADDING INSULT TO INJURY, THE FIVE SUPREME COURT JUSTICES WHO FAILED TO ADVOCATE FOR DOMINEQUE RAY’S REASONABLE RELIGIOUS ACCOMMODATION OFFERED NO DETAILED EXPLANATION FOR THEIR DECISION.

FOR AN EXPLANATION OF THE SUPREME COURT’S DECISION THIS WEEK, WE HAVE TO LOOK TO JUSTICE ELENA KAGAN’S DISSENTING OPINION, WHERE SHE MENTIONS THAT A MAJORITY OF HER COLLEAGUES AGREED THAT RAY WAITED TOO LONG TO BRING HIS REQUEST BEFORE THE ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS. KAGAN IS JOINED IN HER DISSENT BY JUSTICES RUTH BADER GINSBURG AND SONIA SOTOMAYOR.

First, Ray had been on death row since 1999. Timely enforcement indeed. Surely, Alabama could have spared a few more weeks, months even, to allow for more time to sort out the imam issue. After all, it’s not like Ray was going anywhere. Also, there’s the important point that the 11th Circuit placed the prisoner’s appeal on a “fast track,” as the New York Times put it, “with briefing to have been completed in a little more than a month.” It’s not as if the stay of execution was primed to languish in a multiyear limbo.

Secondly, as noted in the Supreme Court’s dissent, Ray’s request for an imam was indeed late, but there’s a reasonable explanation for that: He was denied a copy of the prison’s own practices and procedures, which clearly defines who is and isn’t allowed in the chamber. Ray was notified when his execution date was set in Nov. 6, 2018, but “the relevant statute would not have placed Ray on notice that the prison would deny his request. To the contrary, that statute provides that both the chaplain of the prison and the inmate’s spiritual adviser of choice ‘may be present at an execution,'” Kagan and the 11th Circuit found.

THE STATUTE “MAKES NO DISTINCTION BETWEEN PERSONS WHO MAY BE PRESENT WITHIN THE EXECUTION CHAMBER AND THOSE WHO MAY ENTER ONLY THE VIEWING ROOM,” KAGAN ADDED, NOTING THE PRISON “REFUSED” TO GIVE RAY A COPY OF ITS PROCEDURES. “SO THERE IS NO REASON RAY SHOULD HAVE KNOWN, PRIOR TO JANUARY 23 [WHEN RAY’S REQUEST WAS DENIED BY THE WARDEN], THAT HIS IMAM WOULD BE GRANTED LESS ACCESS THAN THE CHRISTIAN CHAPLAIN TO THE EXECUTION CHAMBER.”

Ray’s request was denied on Jan. 23. He followed up five days later, asking in more forceful terms for the presence of his imam. That doesn’t sound like the behavior of someone who was intentionally dragging his feet.

LASTLY, THE IDEA THAT IMAM YUSEF MAISONET POSED A SECURITY RISK IS ABSURD. HE HAS SPENT YEARS VOLUNTEERING AT THAT FACILITY. HE GOES TO THE DEATH ROW AT HOLMAN CORRECTIONAL FACILITY ABOUT ONCE A MONTH TO LEAD THE MUSLIM INMATES IN PRAYER. FOR THE PRISONERS AND THE PRISON STAFF, HE IS A KNOWN AND TRUSTED ENTITY.

Perhaps Ray was trying to game the system. Perhaps he was legitimately confused and assumed wrongly that his spiritual adviser would be allowed in the execution chamber. In cases like this, the most prudent option is to err on the side of liberty. Even if Ray’s request was a delay tactic, the biggest downside to granting it would have been the mere delaying of the inevitable. But if Ray was sincere in his ask, well, the state of Alabama and the Supreme Court just denied him a basic, protected right. That’s a much greater danger to the public than any inmate’s temporary gaming of the system could ever hope to accomplish.

KAGAN GOT IT RIGHT WHEN SHE SAID, “RAY HAS PUT FORWARD A POWERFUL CLAIM THAT HIS RELIGIOUS RIGHTS WILL BE VIOLATED AT THE MOMENT THE STATE PUTS HIM TO DEATH. THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT WANTED TO HEAR THAT CLAIM IN FULL. INSTEAD, THIS COURT SHORT-CIRCUITS THAT ORDINARY PROCESS—AND ITSELF REJECTS THE CLAIM WITH LITTLE BRIEFING AND NO ARGUMENT – JUST SO THE STATE CAN MEET ITS PREFERRED EXECUTION DATE. I RESPECTFULLY DISSENT.”

Ray, who was pronounced dead at a little past 10:00 p.m. EST Thursday evening from lethal injection, was, by all accounts, a monster. He was in prison for three brutal murders.

BUT EVEN MONSTERS DESERVE EQUAL TREATMENT UNDER THE LAW.

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